On July 29, 1934, Talma was baptized in the Catholic church with Boulanger as her godmother. Talma had, for the previous several years, been reading about and studying Catholicism first under the guidance of Boulanger, and later with a number of American nuns who studied with Boulanger in France, and both her local priest and Boulanger’s parish priest. She kept her original name and middle name, Louise Juliette, and took Boulanger’s second name, Nadejda, as part of her baptismal name, along with Cecile, the patron saint of music and, of course, her own mother’s name, becoming Louise Juliette Nadejda Cecile Talma, at least in the records of the church. Talma clearly viewed the ceremony as one that would bring the two women closer together. “We stood together before God’s altar,” wrote Talma to Boulanger later, couching the ceremony in terms similar to those of a wedding. “That was the most joyous day of my life.”1 On the day of her confirmation a year later, Boulanger presented Talma with a ring marking the occasion. Talma was ecstatic, and read the gesture as one of potential romance, not the godmotherly affection with which Boulanger had likely intended it. Talma wrote:

My most dear one, you cannot fully realize what this so exquisite ring means for me. It is the one thing which I have really desired with a great desire-that I might wear a ring given me by you. You must have seen the wish in my eyes that I might at some time be so privileged as to have upon my finger a ring of yours. So you see all that it fulfills in addition to the memory of the day.2